High Court Judge Wilson Masalo Musene returned to court on short notice just a few days after announcing his withdrawal from the treason case against 19 Muslims including one woman charged with treason.
The judge who withdrew from the case after prosecution expressed disinterest in the case said his change of heart was in the interest of justice for the suspects who have been on remand since 2015.
Judge Musene read to an open court not attended by prosecution; “You maybe surprised as to why I have reconvened after the decision to pull out, but the process of justice is dynamic and calls for practical thoughts. I also realised since this is an old case and accused have been on remand for three years.”
Justice Musene who had written to the principal judge about his withdrawal added that the case had been in court for so long and handing it to another judge would mean beginning over for the suspects.
“Since we handled all preliminary procedures with nine witnesses already heard, a fresh trial would not be fair, Musene added”. He therefore preferred a one month’s adjournment.
The high court judge on return also out-ruled an application for Nolle Prosequi filed by prosecution expressing disinterest in the case after producing only nine witnesses.
This was welcomed by the defense team who argued they are only ready to make submissions on a no case to answer basis.
The suspects who were remanded till 7thmay 2018,will return to court and court will decide whether to continue receiving more witnesses or hear submission from defense on a no case to answer basis.
The defense lawyers however object to more prosecution witnesses saying the prosecution already expressed lack of interest.
The group was produced at court amid heavy deployment of different security operatives from prisons, military and police. Court was also attended by numerous relatives and friends to the suspects.
The group of 19 Muslims including a sister in-law to Australian based cardiologist Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi are facing two counts of treason and concealment of treason.
These are said to have plotted to over throw the government of Uganda by use of firearms between years; 2013 and 2015 at various places in Uganda, Dubai, Kenya and Tanzania.